Chinese Company Trying to Buy Starwood’s Strange Links to Porn, Gambling, and Dentistry, and More

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary, your title reads oddly. It is similar to the misstatement “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. The way in which you have written it makes it sound as if the Chinese company is buying Starwood’s porn and gambling. In place of the apostrophe and ‘s’ following the word Starwood, you should substitute the word ‘has’.

  2. “Which doesn’t matter to Starwood’s shareholders, of course, as long as they’re able to guarantee financing for the acquisition.”

    @Gary wants this deal so badly the sense of right or wrong seems to have left him! It should matter more than just how much green is at play! Consider this.

    In 2004, Anbang was worth just $75 million as tiny regional insurer. In 2016, Anbang is worth some $25 billion and may well succeed in doing the biggest M&A deals by a Chinese company in history. The CEO of Anbang married former PRC’s Premier Deng Xiaoping, influence that many believe the company owes it phenomenally rapid rise to. And now, this apparent tie to sex underground. It seems to me that this company’s new found wealth should make not only Starwood’s board and shareholders, but also US regulators, very vigilant.

    Even as an avowed free trader, I’d say that something smells very fishy…

    …G’day!

  3. Chinese black money flooding into America and making housing unaffordable and the polticians here can’t help kiss Chinese ass.

  4. @DCS are you suggesting I’m mistaken? I’m not making a claim about preference here, it’s a descriptive not a normative statement when I write “Which doesn’t matter to Starwood’s shareholders, of course, as long as they’re able to guarantee financing for the acquisition.”

    You may think it SHOULD matter but haven’t even offered that it DOES.

  5. @Gary I understand how you feel. I don’t want Starpoints to go away like they would under Marriott either. But likening the NYT story to a hit piece is way off base. They did same rudimentary background and fact checking. That what they came up with looks really bad for Anbang does not make it a hit piece in any sense of the word.

  6. @Gary — Lexical and syntactic analysis and your characterization of the NYT’s attempt to shed some light on this company as a “hit piece” get one to where I got regarding this post…unless it was another knee-jerk reaction to NYT?

  7. i thought this was going to explain the rather odd fact that 2 years ago, while shopping starwood’s site for black friday items to resell and take advantage of some spg points (hopeful) arbitrage(ish) situation – that i found them to be selling some kind of vibrators. after i did my research i was all on board actually – light, compact (low shipping!) and high value (seemed to be able to resell and recover the cost easily!) – unfortunately they were out of stock…

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